Whoever decides to tell Rosio Sanchéz’s story will have to start from the phone call during which René Redzepi offered her a job as Noma’s confectioner. She begins, instead, from her childhood in Chicago and her precocious passion for sweets, which has its origin in a family kitchen where Mexico and the USA met…
Charleston, United States
To us, Charleston is a bridge over River Ashley, a storm in the Southeast, a dusty cloth shop, and a sage-green Victorian façade. And also a Saturday night at the corner between King and First where young people from the neighbourhood drink beer together at the pub while a team of thirty-year-olds prepares and serves perfect bowls of Raw/Grilled Oysters, Fried Chicken, Shrimp Roll and Cole Slaw in an old garage renamed Leon’s.
Thirteen generations of the same family. Seven hundred years. Nineteen rooms, six hundred and twenty hectares of vegetable garden, forest and gardens. Apricot-coloured bricks, high clouds and woods. Quiet ducks, busy insects, waterlilies…
Pinecones and branches come from the wood, the vegetables from the home garden, cheese, butter and milk from the in-house dairy, and the fresh pasta from the family’s malga. SanBrite is, first of all, an act of love towards one’s own land and roots…
“The only true voyage of discovery would be not to visit strange lands but to…
Tahiti, South Pacific
Tahiti is an island and, at the same time, a people always keeping an eye on the ocean and another one on the mountains. They pray to the water and then to the forest, as if they were two symbiotic beings. Vanira lodge lies on a hill, steep enough to plunge into light dawns and deep sunsets, high enough to touch star-quilted night skies, close enough to Teahupoo’s waves to hear them rumble, close enough to the mountains to climb them. A green hill on the southern coast of Tahiti Iti, la Presqu’île, the wild part of the island, the one we love more. Evening comes quickly with the taste of lobster with honey, and morning comes quickly with the smell of coconut bread and banana and mango jam. ‘Fare’ is the word for ‘house’…
Los Angeles, California
Our friend Carl suggested Woodspoon when one of our favourite restaurants in Little Tokyo closed. ‘Do you know where you can eat tonight? At Woodspoon’. The lovely lady owner of this small ‘Brazilian country kitchen’ is a close friend of his. We google it quickly to find Jonathan Gold’s opinion, which reads: ‘It may be a little strange to start a review by praising a restaurant’s tap water, but Wood Spoon’s really is the best in town: triple-filtered, no doubt, served sharply cool, and flavored with whole cinnamon sticks, which give the water a delicate fragrance and tint it the color of dilute oolong tea.’…
The sister of Helios – the Sun – and of Selene – the Moon, in Greek mythology Eos, or Aurora, was the goddess that opened the gates to the light of day. Homer often calls Eos ‘the rosy-fingered goddess’. Aurora kneads dough, cooks and bakes every day but Mondays. Her tiny artisanal bakery with open laboratory is called Le Polveri (Powders), like the fine flour left on fingertips and the dark crumbles scattered on cheeks and tablecloths. Holidays are sweetly spiced and smell like cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. We love the abundance of big-sized breads and paddle pizzas, we love the delicacy of sweets you can hold in one hand – all made with mother dough, slow rising, and flours from small organic mills. You do not come here simply to buy bread; you come here knowingly to confirm Aurora’s skill to create a small world of calm, beauty and imagination.
Brooklyn NY, USA
After Manhattan’s wonderful noise and eccentricity, you look for Burrow’s composure and silence. You will admire the symmetric sweets display with puff-pastry elephant ears, toasted-green-tea biscuits, nostalgic cherry granola, and almond croissants. Here, everything is reduced on a perfection scale and enjoyed in a tiny aesthetic peace. The owner and chef Ayako Kurokawa goes in and out the kitchen in her indigo linen apron, refilling trays with sweet and savoury morsels. She was born in Hokkaido, and she cannot tell how long she has been cooking these French, Breton, or simply Japanese delicacies in New York City. In the small lobby of the offices at 68 Jay Street, Dumbo, Williamsburg, NYC.
Los Angeles, California
Maybe LA’s Arts District exists as a neighbourhood since Hauser & Wirth, a sophisticated contemporary art gallery as large as a couple of museums, opened at 901, East 3rd Street. Manuela opened one year later as the perfect rendezvous. ‘Whitsell’s rural sensibilities settling into one of the most urban spaces on the West Coast’ (Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times). Chef Wes Whitsell comes from the South, from Texas, his bag full of verbs that suit perfectly a small future meal: in-house smoking, fermenting, preserving, pickling. There are a chicken house where twelve rare-breed chickens live, and a planting garden where home vegetables grow. All this inside the walls of an ambitious art space…
Empty beaches, closed chalets, deserted promenade. In autumn, the Adriatic Sea is tepid and good-natured, vaguely sad, and only belongs to a few. Above all, to those who live there and can enjoy the last days of sun sitting in the courtyard of a port trattoria at lunch. In Fano, young people love to meet at La Rustita, and so do we. We eat seafood salad, grilled squids, fried fish, mixed salad and white wine of the house between white wood and salty breeze.
La Taverna della Rocca has the fragrance of my childhood Sundays: long tables and meals that resembled a ritual; the smell of dense meat sauce – cooked slowly – and of hand-rolled egg pasta that characterised the holiday; the smell of grilled meat. The only ‘eccentricity’ here are the piade sfogliate grilled and served with wild herbs and local toma cheese (the house women are quite proud of them). An ode to dedication and simplicity.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
A boy and a girl walk on via Esmeralda. At the end of February, though the summer is about to end, the air in Buenos Aires is still torrid. They have just arrived and today they have no destination. The small Confitería Bristol is the address they are not looking for. The girl orders two vegetarian empanadas, and the boy three with meat, with no hesitations. In front of the convex windows of the confectioner’s that since 1952 lives on the domestic rituals of the local upper middle class, they speak with the man at the counter – a Peruvian who learnt the trade as a boy – and with a distinguished woman whom the confectioner introduces promptly as a regular customer and granddaughter of President Avellaneda. These delicious turnovers of crumbly wavy pastry – the girl will learn to mould them with greater and greater skill – are the main course of an improvised picnic on a bench in the small park in front of the Palacio de Relaciones Internacionales. She bites them slowly, while he wolfs them and smiles with eyes wide open, as he did when he was caught doing some prank as a child. Buenos Aires was his world back then; now it is the city where he goes back and takes his new love.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Only the pampas’ prairie beyond Buenos Aires’ north-western suburbs can silence the enthusiasm that Big Sur glaciers stirred in us. We have just left them. It is a summer Sunday; the wind pampers the trees’ foliage with deep hypnotic caresses. At the end of a dirt road, a young gaucho awaits us near the gate, as sculpturesque and fierce as the horse he controls with minimal moves. We follow him up to the entrance of a purple residence edged in white, along an intimate procession that cuts in half the neat land at sunset. Everything in this maternal rural landscape seems to be cautiously dancing with ancestral moves. The grass is greener, and the sky is airier and higher. This Land has become, also for us, a promise of happiness…
Buenos Aires, Argentina
It is summer in Buenos Aires; lunch regulars start sitting down in Oviedo’s radiant dining room and greet with familiarity the waiters, busy with the last preparations. We get quickly used to ceremonious gestures, faint pleasantries, courtesy, and whispered conversations over spotless tablecloths. A classic world with no imperfections, where a small dose of peculiarity is allowed on the big canvases hanging on the walls, and on the dishes. The chefs’ knowledge and inspiration get to the tables as polished compositions, sometimes geometrical, sometimes more fluid. Every course is a variety of unusual, clear flavours, whose balance surprises you at every bite. A character that takes shape between sober creativity and tradition, between eternal and unconventional.